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Mathematics for Cryptography and Communications MSc

Mathematics for Cryptography and Communications MSc

Different course options

Full time | Royal Holloway, University of London | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time

Duration

1 year

Start date

SEP

Key information
DATA SOURCE : IDP Connect

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Mathematics For Non-Mathematical Studies Cryptography Communication Studies

Course type

Taught

Course Summary

The course

Excited by the role of mathematics in securing the modern electronics and communications that we all rely on? This intensive MSc programme explores the mathematics behind secure information and communications systems, in a department that is world renowned for research in the field.

You will learn to apply advanced mathematical ideas to cryptography, coding theory and information theory, by studying the relevant functions of algebra, number theory and combinatorial complexity theory and algorithms. In the process you will develop a critical appreciation of the challenges that mathematicians face in facilitating secure information transmission, data compression and encryption. You will learn to use advanced cypher systems, correcting codes and modern public key crypto-systems. As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to complete a supervised dissertation in an area of your choice, under the guidance of experts in the field who regularly publish in internationally competitive journals and work closely with partners in industry.

We are a lively, collaborative and supportive community of mathematicians and information security specialists, and thanks to our relatively compact scale we will take the time to get to know you as an individual. You will be assigned a personal advisor to guide you through your studies.

Mathematicians who can push the boundaries and stay ahead when it comes to cryptography and information security are in demand, and the skills you gain will open up a range of career options and provide a solid foundation if you wish to progress to a PhD. These include transferable skills such as familiarity with a computer-based algebra package, experience of carrying out independent research and managing the writing of a dissertation.

Teaching & assessment

You will initially choose 8 courses from the list of available options, of which you specify 6 courses during the second term that will count towards your final award. You will also complete a core research project under the supervision of one of our academic ere is a strong focus on small group teaching throughout the programme.

Assessment is carried out through a variety of methods, including coursework, examinations and the main project. End-of-year examinations in May or June will count for 66.7% of your final award, while the dissertation will make up the remaining 33.3% and has to be submitted by September.

Your future career

By the end of this programme you will have an advanced knowledge and understanding of all the key mathematical principles and applications that underpin modern cryptography and communications. You will have advanced skills in coding, algebra and number theory, and be able to synthesise and interpret information from multiple sources with insight and critical awareness. You will have learnt to formulate problems clearly, to undertake independent research and to express your technical work and conclusions clearly in writing. You will also have valuable transferable skills such as advanced numeracy and IT skills, time management, adaptability and self-motivation.

Graduates from this programme have gone on to carry out cutting-edge research in the fields of communication theory and cryptography, as well as to successful careers in industries such as: information security, IT consultancy, banking and finance, higher education and telecommunications. Our mathematics postgraduates have taken up roles such as: Principal Information Security Consultant at Abbey National PLC; Senior Manager at Enterprise Risk Services, Deloitte & Touche; Global IT Security Director at Reuters; and Information Security Manager at London Underground.

Modules

To investigate the problems of data compression and information transmission in both noiseless and noisy environments. Entropy: Definition and mathematical properties of entropy, information and mutual information. Noiseless coding: Memoryless sources: proof of the Kraft inequality for uniquely decipherable codes, proof of the optimality of Huffman codes, typical sequences of a memory less source, the fixed-length coding theorem. Ergodic sources: entropy rate, the asymptotic equipartition property, the noiseless coding theorem for ergodic sources. Lempel-Ziv coding. Noisy coding: Noisy channels, the noisy channel coding theory, channel capacity. Further topics, such as hash codes, or the information-theoretic approach to cryptography and authentication.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)

£8,100

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)

£5,202

International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

For this course (per year)

£17,200

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)

£12,227

Entry requirements

Students need to have 2:1 in Mathematics as a main field of study and good marks in relevant courses. Normally we require a UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in relevant subjects but we will consider high 2:2 or relevant work experience. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area may be considered. Where a ‘good 2:2’ is considered, we would normally define this as reflecting a profile of 57% or above. Exceptionally, at the discretion of the course director, qualifications in other subjects (for example, physics or computer science) or degrees of lower classification may be considered.